Pesticides increase brain risk

We all experience that mental pause from time to time, whether it's a name on the tip of your tongue or a simple calculation that you stumble over once or twice before getting it right.

Sometimes, it's just an innocent mental flutter.

But you'd be surprised by how often it's something else entirely -- and for many people, it could be the only outward symptom of a slow organophosphate poisoning.

We're all exposed to a class of chemicals called organophosphates, widely used in pesticides and aircraft fuel, and even low levels of exposure can have a powerful and damaging effect on the brain.

In one new analysis of data on 1,600 people who took part in 14 studies, researchers found very noticeable effects with regular exposure to low levels of organophosphates -- especially among people exposed in the line of work, such as pilots and farmers.

The specific areas affected by rrganophosphate poisoning  included two of the most critical: memory and the ability to process information.

In some cases, the people exposed could even identify specific situations in which these mental slowdowns harmed them -- like farmers losing the ability to respond quickly at sheep auctions, and airline workers who have a hard time remembering what air traffic control just told them.

That's not just inconvenient -- that's downright dangerous, especially if that airline worker happens to be in the cockpit of an aircraft.

But these days, you don't have to work on a farm or fly a plane to be exposed to organophosphate poisoning  and face those same risks. Live near an airport -- or a farm -- and you could already be getting more than your share.

And no matter where you live, these chemicals could seep into the ground and contaminate the water table -- and they're not always removed in the water treatment process.

That's why it's critical to eat organic foods that aren't coated in pesticides and use either reverse osmosis or a water distiller to filter chemicals and other toxins from your tap.